YORK, Pa. — A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced to six to 20 years in prison in the disappearance and presumed death of her husband in 2011, and investigators unraveled the case after the husband’s partial scalp was found along a road, according to our affiliate KDKA.

Virginia Hayden, 71, plead no contest to third-degree murder and tampering with public records just before a jury was expected to return its verdict last week. According to KDKA, “a no-contest plea spares a defendant from having to acknowledge guilt but is treated as a guilty plea by the court.”

According to KDKA, “Hayden was charged in 2019 with first-degree murder and 65 other criminal counts, including forgery, theft, and receiving stolen property in the disappearance and presumed death of Thomas Hayden Sr., who went missing in the fall of 2011.”

In January 2012, a large section of human scalp with hair attached that appeared to be tied in a ponytail was discovered along a road in a grocery bag with bloody cloth pieces. DNA evidence later confirmed the scalp belonged to Thomas Hayden Sr.

Investigators could not determine if he was alive at the time of the scalping, but concluded that a person would not have been able to survive following such an injury. In 2019, investigators found microscopic particles in the scalp that indicated Thomas Hayden Sr. most likely was killed by a gunshot wound.

Thomas Hayden Sr.’s body has never been found, only his partial scalp was discovered.

Virginia Hayden told investigators that her husband left for Mexico in 2011.

Virginia Hayden faces federal charges in February for wire fraud and conversion of government funds regarding more than $100,000 in Social Security payments she received from 2011 to 2017.